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Germany exports fewer weapons in 2018

June 13, 2019

The annual Weapons Export Report registered a 23% drop compared with 2017 according to media sources. The government says the decrease is a sign of Germany's "restrictive and responsible weapons export policy."

German Leopard II tank
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/J. Dabrowski

The German government's 2018 Weapons Export Report, which is expected to be approved by the Cabinet next Wednesday, shows a sharp decline in exports, according to the RND Media Group which announced that it had seen the report on Thursday.

The report states that the German government approved a total of 11,142 weapons export requests, representing some €4.82 billion ($5.44 billion) in sales — a 23% decrease from 2017.

Most exports — 47.2% — went to the EU, NATO and NATO-allied countries (Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Switzerland).

Algeria tops list of third-country buyers

So-called third countries were the recipients of €2.5 billion worth of arms, down from €3.8 billion in 2017. Of those countries, Algeria was the largest customer, purchasing some €818.2 million worth of hardware.

Though arms sales to Saudi Arabia remain highly controversial, in 2018 the kingdom bought some €416.4 million worth of German weaponry, namely patrol boats and artillery positioning radar equipment. Germany currently has an export ban for Saudi Arabia, though there are some exceptions.

Read more: Germany exporting weapons to Saudi Arabia and UAE — reports

Equal opportunity seller

Germany also exported some €365.7 million worth of arms to developing countries. Pakistan led the list of recipients in this category with a total sales volume of €174.4. It was followed by neighboring India with €96.8 million, and Indonesia with €21.2 million.

Request approvals for small arms and small arms parts totaled €38.9 million in 2018, down from €47.8 million in 2017.

Request denied

The report also documents a total of 88 denied requests, representing a volume of €39.4 million.

Read more: German export policies threaten European defense projects: French ambassador

Speaking of the report, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said that the government was pursuing, "a restrictive and responsible weapons export policy."     

js/ng (AFP, KNA, Reuters)

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